Are you consuming these potential poisons on a regular basis?
Well, first things first. Before we get into today’s topic, I just wanted to say:
Wow. “Thank You” for all the comments on the last post!
Even though I was trying to inspire you…your comments actually inspired me.
I was reluctant to share this, but my eyes welled up with tears I was so moved by everybody’s comments.
It looks like I’m officially the new inspirational spokesperson for GL-12. I’m lovin’ it!
(B.T.W. Shaun does inspire me to share this information. I just want to give him a “little” credit since he does encourage me. He’s also very proud of my work. Stay tuned because I have all kinds of new inspiring and motivating material coming your way over the next few months. He’s pumped. I’m excited. :))
Before I give you some more motivation and inspiration, I have a few questions for you.
- Do you use artificial sweeteners?
- Are you aware of the artificial sweeteners in the foods you consume?
If so, this will be an eye-opening article.
Many of our private members have heard us talk about getting rid of all the Crystal Lite mix in our meal plans.
There’s a reason we’re doing this, so please keep reading.
You probably should be consuming all artificial sweeteners in strict moderation or even ridding them from your plan altogether, if possible.
Shaun and I have always wondered about artificial sweeteners and we’ve noticed that there’s a lot of confusion and misconceptions about these non-caloric sweeteners.
We both used to think that this stuff can’t be that bad for you, but we’ve learned to go “all natural” whenever possible.
There have been some eye-opening studies about these potential poisons.
Plus, Shaun has been fortunate enough to rub elbows with some of the smartest minds on earth in the nutrition field. We’ve learned that it’s really all about the big food companies making money and not our health.
Artificial sweeteners and the huge list of products sweetened with them are marketed to us relentlessly as “healthy foods” or “healthier” than sugar or corn syrup sweetened products.
But are they really?
Just to clarify, some of the most popular artificial sweeteners on the market today are:
- Splenda (sucralose)
- Acesulfame Potassium (aka – acesulfame K)
These artificial sweeteners are used in abundance in almost every “diet” drink, “lite” yogurts, puddings, ice creams, most “low-carb” products and almost all “reduced-sugar” products.
Even most protein powders are loaded with artificial sweeteners too (just look on the ingredients and you’ll usually see one of them).
Splenda is probably one of the worst offenders of claiming to be “healthy” as they say that it’s made from real sugar. Don’t be misled.
It’s still an artificial substance. What they don’t tell you is that Splenda is actually a chemically modified substance.
Chlorine is added to the chemical structure, making it more similar to a bunch of little, tiny chlorinated pesticides that we should not be eating or drinking.
Side Note: Remember that Splenda was created because all the other artificial sweeteners were getting bad press. We won’t even go into the negative effects of Aspartame and Saccharine. Just remember to avoid them whenever possible.
The truth is that artificial sweeteners are really not even close to being healthy. They can potentially be just as bad, if not worse, than sugar or corn syrup.
Most people think that they are doing something good for themselves by choosing the “diet” drinks or other diet foods compared to the sugar-laden versions.
The problem is that you’re exposing yourself to a whole new set of problems with the artificially sweetened drinks and foods.
I know you’re probably frustrated by all of the contradicting messages you hear each day about which foods are good for you and which are bad. I know I am.
Everyday we’re bombarded with some clever ad or commercial screaming about the health benefits of a food product that is loaded with artificial sweeteners.
It’s probably impossible to avoid them altogether, but at least we can get educated and limit them as much as possible.
I’ll also give you some ideas for great alternatives to artificial sweeteners, as well as alternatives to sugar or corn syrup sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners save you calories, but there’s growing evidence that they can increase your appetite for sweets and other carbohydrates causing you to eat more later in the day.
Therefore, you don’t really save any calories at all.
Also, studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can stimulate high insulin levels in your body which promotes and accelerates fat storage dramatically.
All of the 4 artificial sweeteners listed above are nasty chemicals that the human body is simply not meant to ingest.
However, most of us are ingesting a lot of these chemicals on a daily basis. Aside from the problems I touched on so far, here are a few of the other health issues that have been related to artificial sweeteners in scientific studies:
- negative effects on the liver, kidneys, and other organs
- stimulating cravings
- gastrointestinal problems
- developmental problems in children and fetuses
- potential cancer risk
- and too many more issues to list
Also, if you do some research, you’ll find thousands of people that attribute the use of artificial sweeteners over the years with all sorts of illnesses in themselves or in family members.
Despite all of the health issues potentially associated with artificial sweeteners, the companies that sell the products will continue to claim that they are fully safe.
Don’t believe them. The bottom line is that the body was not designed to deal with foreign substances like artificial sweeteners.
In fact, there have been several studies conducted about why “diet sodas” have been one the major contributors to the obesity epidemic.
Here’s one of many if you’re interested: http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20050613/drink-more-diet-soda-gain-more-weight
Ironically, as soon as the story broke, Coke and Pepsi immediately started a marketing campaign to use a Stevia-based sweetener.
Although this herb can be a safe and healthy alternative (we personally use it), most people don’t realize that if this herbal sweetener doesn’t come from a reliable source, it could possibly contain pesticides or other toxins.
Everything we’ve read and learned about Stevia has been positive, but you still need to make sure it’s from an organic source, if possible.
I was also really annoyed when I found out that even the touted, all-natural sweetener, Agave Nectar, is far from healthy. Agave is almost all fructose – highly processed sugar with great marketing.
Here’s just a quick snapshot of what Agave Nectar is really all about.
- Agave syrup is not low calorie.
- Agave syrup is about 16 calories per teaspoon, the same as table sugar.
- Agave syrup may not have a low glycemic index.
Depending upon where the Agave comes from and the amount of heat used to process it, your Agave Syrup can be anywhere from 55 percent to 90 percent Fructose! (And, it’s likely you won’t be able to tell from the product label.)
This range of fructose content hardly makes agave syrup a logical choice if you’re hoping to avoid the high levels of fructose in HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).
And if you’re diabetic, you should know that the alleged benefit of agave for diabetics is purely speculative. Very few agave studies have been documented, and most involved rats. There have been no clinical studies done on its safety for diabetics.
Since most agave syrup has such a high percentage of fructose, your blood sugar will likely spike just as it would if you were consuming regular sugar or HFCS.
You could also run the risk of raising your triglyceride levels.
I’ve learned that there is a big difference in how your body handles normal sugar versus fructose. Things like glucose and other sugars are converted to blood glucose, but fructose is a relatively unregulated source of fuel that your liver converts to fat and cholesterol. Not good.
Our belief is that if you’re spending money on something, you deserve to know the truth about what it could be doing to your body.
Always try to use a healthy alternative like Organic Stevia. Another good choice for a sugar substitute is something called Organic Sucanat. You can learn more about it here:
The final analysis: We’re probably all going to consume some of these artificial sweeteners on a weekly basis in some way or another.
This goes back to my “take home” message from the last post.
By being consciously aware of these hidden poisons, you’ll automatically eliminate most of them from your plan. It’s a great prevention plan for your long-term health and fat loss.
We’re definitely not doctors or bio-medical scientists, but we have a passion for spreading the truth and raising people’s awareness. Shaun and I both learned so much about this stuff when I went through my cancer journey; we feel like we have an obligation to share it with everybody we can.
I guess the ole saying, “You are what you eat” will always stand the test of time.
Okay, now it’s time for some more inspiration.
In that last post I left off by talking about P.L.O.M. (Poor Little Ole’ Me) disease and maintaining a P.M.A. (Positive Mental Attitude).
The PROBLEM: It’s easy to talk about, but hard to do.
The SOLUTION: Scheduling time to make it happen.
Being a mother to four children and helping Shaun run GL-12 does not leave much time in my hectic schedule for “me” time. This is one of my biggest struggles and maybe it’s yours too!
That’s because 98% of women, wives and mothers don’t make time for themselves. I can tell you from experience: This is a BIG mistake.
When I put everybody else first in my life and push myself to the back of the line, resentment starts to build up inside me. Over time, if I’m not careful or “aware” this becomes extremely unhealthy.
That’s when P.L.O.M. disease sneaks in and gets the best of me and my P.M.A. disappears like food on my husband’s plate.
Can you relate? If so, I have some great news for you.
It’s a little ritual that we try to use at least 5 days a week to avoid P.L.O.M. disease and keep our P.M.A. “in-check”.
What is it? It’s finding 15 minutes or more on a daily basis to eliminate ALL distractions and ALL technology from your life.
Shaun calls it “Cultivation Time”. I call it “ME” time.
What do you do during this time? It depends on your personality and what you like to do for relaxation.
I block off time in my schedule and sit in our sunroom with a cup of coffee. No cell phone, technology OR distractions allowed.
Then I think about everything I’m grateful for in my life. This is also a great time to pray if you’re the spiritual kind.
You could also:
- Breath deep or meditate
- Do some yoga or stretching
- Make a gratitude list (REMEMBER: Half the world hasn’t even turned on a light bulb! We ALL have more than we deserve.)
- Read an empowering book
- Make a list of positive words and read them over
My husband blocks off time and goes to the dry sauna with a business book or his leadership bible. We both believe that during this time, you’ll plant the positive seeds in your head so you can manage the stress of your day.
Shaun always says that he can more done in 4 hours than he normally would in 8 hours if he “cultivates” consistently. But when he skips his cultivation time, life gets hectic and he feels overwhelmed.
This little ritual can really change your life and impact your P.M.A.
By scheduling “me” time and putting myself higher on the priority list, I can give my husband, my children, my family and my loved ones my absolute best.
Don’t forget: This also applies to exercise and fat loss too. By investing the time to exercise and eat right, you’ll impact every area in a positive way. Give it a try!
I’ll end by quoting something Shaun always says:
“There are two types of people in this world. Those who brighten the room when they enter it, and those who brighten a room when they leave it.” (I think he got it from Zig Ziglar.)
So remember: “ME” time = P.M.A.
And…it’s not selfish.
I hope this helps you as much as it’s helped us over the years!
Now it’s time to help each other with this technique. How?
Leave a comment below and let everybody else know:
- What location you’re going to use for your “me” time (avoiding distractions and the environment you pick means everything if you want this to work)
- What activity you’re going to do during this time to maintain your P.M.A.
I look forward to hearing your responses below.
Have a great weekend!
P.S. Shaun wants me to start something here on the blog called: Karen’s Motivational Mondays.
That means if you leave a comment, I get to do this every Monday. Yahooooo!!!
Don’t forget to hit the Facebook “like” button below so we can spread the good news.